Term 4 Week 10 S.T.E.M. Summary

It was our final week of S.T.E.M. in week 10. During this week we once again explored computers and coding. As it was our last session we had a little play on the different coding programs and lessons. Some of us used the Kodable program to do some coding, others explored problem solving using the Lightbot app and some of us even explored 3D modelling in Tinkercad. The older students had a go with the Makey Makey programs and worked out how conductive elements on them worked to code items on a computer.


Feel free to explore some of these apps and the activities we did throughout the term at home over the holidays! Have a safe and happy break. We’ll see you in the New Year for another crazy fun S.T.E.M. series!


Week 9 Term 4 S.T.E.M. Summary

This was the second last week of S.T.E.M. and in it we went back to computers! We checked out excel and had a little play making a pie graph by using some short cuts to help us out. Specifically we looked at how to make a data set, the labels we needed to use and then how to turn that into a pie chart. To do this we collected data about our classmates and categorized it. The younger students had a go at coding using Kodable and Lightbot, learning to think around problems by doing things step by step.

Week 8 Term 4 S.T.E.M. Summary

Last week we got into some really important concepts for this summer. We had a look at a video about saving water and learned about the different water saving strategies. After that we designed inventions that could actually work to help save water. The challenge was to make them functional or build-able at home. We all had a good crack and ended up being quite original.  Some of the inventions were quite fantastic that were very practical and useful in our day to day lives. Check them out below:

Fighting Extinction Showcase Day!

On Friday the 22nd of November, two students in grades 4-6 from five of the Sugarloaf S.T.E.M. schools went on a Fighting Extinction showcase at the zoo. To begin we saw a few speeches from various special guests including a 10 year old called Luke who’d raised over $400 for the “Don’t Palm Us Off” campaign and had interviewed the Threatened Species Commissioner about our local animals. Feeling inspired we then put up some displays at the zoo for an hour to the members of the general public and zoo staff. The work our students had done was sensational and these were some highlights of the projects:

A gumleaf petition direct to the Environment Minister to take action on the Leadbeaters Possum.
Information on greener alternatives to standard paper to help the possums as well as hand outs and stickers about their home.
A puppet show display on how the experts train Helmeted Honeyeaters to avoid predators.
Action you can take, interesting facts and origami Corroboree Frogs handouts.
Plants for sale to raise money for the Seal the Loop campaign.
The brilliant devil diorama filled with interesting facts and a habitat display about the Tassie Devils.
A mountain display which outlines how sticking to 4WD tracks, keeping your pets fenced in, picking up litter and not building too many ski runs can help our Mountain Pigmy Possums.
A gorgeous display on how you can help seals by avoiding single use plastic and using the seal the loop fishing line bins.

We then got to check out the other showcases from the other schools and got some cool threatened species face painting done. The day finished with a brilliant presentation by two eastern barred bandicoots at the seal show who inspired us to keep up the great work.


Week 7 Term 4 S.T.E.M. Summary

In week 7 it was all about the power of the sun! We learned about how solar power can be used to power a oven that we made ourselves. We had a look at how they work and got stuck into actually making them. The design can be found HERE if you want to do it at home too. Some of us added some modifications to them to allow for easy access. Check out the awesome designs below:

Week 6 Term 4 S.T.E.M. Summary

Last week we dabbled in a different kind of design – picture design. We looked at how to communicate a message using the design of  picture. To do this we watched two videos and had to understand the reasons why properly disposing of organic food and e-waste was important. We then had a look at how to show using a picture that information. Then the students had a go at drawing these pictures on organic food buckets and a E-waste bin that we can use at school. Some of the designs were quite considered and informative. Check the videos and the amazing designs out below!


Week 4 Term 4 S.T.E.M Summary

Last week was all about upgrading our stationery. We had to think about how to use available items to make our pencils, rubbers and other items more useful to us. We had a look at aspects of good design, including whether the design was relevant for the context, whether it looked good, and whether it had multiple uses. We then had a crack at making something that we could use in the classroom that would support our stationery or improve it. Have a look at the great designs below.

A red line ruler that automatically rules red lines with pens along the side

A water spray pump to help you cool while writing, with a section for a pen below.

Pencils made from pump components that always re-fill.

Pencil and ooshi holder

A all in one stationery design

Week 3 Term 4 STEM Summary

In week 3 in STEM we engaged with some major citizen science going on right now. We participated in the National Australian Bird Count which is on at the moment. As part of this we looked at how to record data correctly and to make sure it was easy for us to record during our observations. By the end of the week we had done several observations and found out the variety of bird in our area. With the older students we looked how to set up our data sheets properly so that the results were clear. The younger students learned how to tally and we talked about how a tally works and why tallies will help us record data easier. Have a look at what we did below and the bird count website HERE.


Week 2 Term 4 S.T.E.M. Summary

In week 2 of S.T.E.M. we were all about customization. We thought about how we could re-design or add to our lunchboxes so they’d be better. To do this we had to embrace design principles and think about:

  • What our components were going to be used for
  • How they were going to be used
  • Who was going to use them
  • What would happen when you are finished with them – impact on the environment.

Our Learning Intention this week was:

To understand how to use creative thinking to change useful things in our lives.

Our Success Criteria was:

I can think of a better way for my lunchbox to work that suits my needs.
I can explain how my design works better than what my lunchbox currently does.

Some of the designed that came up were fantastic. These included carrot stick holders, backpacks that could liquefy food, combined drink bottles and lunchboxes, as well as a ultimate lunchbox that held keys, money, hand sanitizer and food. Have a look at some of the great designs below:

A soft cloth lunchbox that won’t impact the planet when it breaks down.

A drawer based lunchbox compartmentalized into the different zones of food.

A lunchbox that is protected with foam padding so it doesn’t break when it falls.